Newly Launched VMware Edge Cloud Orchestrator Helps Customers Deploy, Manage, and Better Secure Edge-Native Applications and Infrastructure at Scale
Enterprises and service providers alike are looking to the edge as the next frontier for digital transformation. Edge deployments are proprietary integrations of custom hardware and software. They are giving way to the new software-defined edge that is intelligent, programmable, and scalable. Today at VMware Explore 2023 Las Vegas, VMware, Inc. announced new capabilities, solutions, and services to help customers accelerate their digital transformation at the edge. This includes:
“Audi wants to take factory automation to the next level and benefit from a scalable edge infrastructure at its factories worldwide”
New VMware Edge orchestration capabilities to orchestrate and manage multiple edge services at scale;
A new retail edge industry solution to better support customer engagement, loss prevention, and point-of-sale transformation; and,
A soon to be available VMware Edge managed connectivity service enabling wireless service providers to deliver private 4G/5G services to enterprises.
“The growing demand for edge computing across industries is driving the need for automation and orchestration,” said Sanjay Uppal, senior vice president and general manager of Service Provider and Edge, VMware. “The VMware Edge Cloud Orchestrator is a powerful new tool that extends our proven network automation and orchestration capabilities to help organizations more securely and cost-effectively install, configure, operate, and maintain their edge deployments. Building on our history of scaling edge networking from carriers to enterprise, VMware Edge Cloud Orchestrator is the first truly software-defined edge solution for scalable ‘end-to-edge’ infrastructure.”
Introducing VMware Edge Cloud Orchestrator
Enterprises are looking to transform both the value they are delivering to their customers as well as how they deliver this value. The challenge in achieving the goal of leveraging the edge effectively is the complexity across people, processes, and technology. This includes a lack of reliable connectivity with a central data center or cloud location, a lack of IT expertise on-site at disparate sites, and the need to scale deployments to thousands of sites, often across domains and geographic boundaries.
To help address these challenges, VMware today is introducing new and enhanced orchestration capabilities for the edge. VMware Edge Cloud Orchestrator (formerly VMware SASE Orchestrator) will provide unified management for VMware SASE and the VMware Edge Compute Stack—an industry-first offering to bridge the gap between edge networking and edge compute. Enhancements to the orchestrator will help customers plan, deploy, run, visualize, and manage their edge environments in a friction-free manner—allowing them to run edge-native applications focused on business outcomes. The VMware Edge Cloud Orchestrator (VECO) will deliver holistic edge management by providing a single console to manage edge compute infrastructure, networking, and security.
VMware defines the software-defined edge as a distributed digital Infrastructure that runs workloads across a number of locations, close to endpoints that are producing and consuming data. It extends to where the users and devices are—whether they are in the office, on the road or on the factory floor. Enterprises need solutions to connect these elements more securely and reliably to the larger enterprise network in a scalable manner. VMware Edge Cloud Orchestrator is key to enabling a software-defined edge approach. VMware’s approach to the software-defined edge features right-sized infrastructure (shrinking the stack to the smallest possible footprint); pull-based orchestration (security and administrative updates are “pulled” by the workload); and network programmability (defined by APIs and code).
“Audi wants to take factory automation to the next level and benefit from a scalable edge infrastructure at its factories worldwide,” said Jörg Spindler, Global Head of Manufacturing Engineering, Audi. “Audi’s Edge Cloud 4 Production will be the key component of this digital transformation, replacing individual PCs and hardware on the shop floor. Ultimately, it will increase factory uptime, agility, and the speed of rolling out new applications and tools across the production line. VMware Edge Compute Stack (ECS) and the VMware Edge Cloud Orchestrator (VECO) will offer a scalable way for Audi to operate a distributed edge infrastructure, manage resources more efficiently, and lower its operations costs.”
Enterprises have come across and addressed edge computing use cases on shop floors, in stores, on oil rigs, and more. According to IDC, edge computing has gone mainstream as the ability to distribute applications and data to field locations is a key element of most digital transformation initiatives. Worldwide spending on edge computing is expected to be $208 billion in 2023, an increase of 13.1% over 2022.1
Building off the VMware Edge Cloud Orchestrator launch, VMware unveiled new orchestration capabilities for VMware Edge Compute Stack based on Project Keswick. Keswick is available as a Technology Showcase today and allows edge administrators to work with VMware to develop use cases. Customers will benefit from simplified lifecycle management of virtual machine (VM)- and containers-based applications and infrastructure. The technology offers pull-based configuration with zero touch provisioning and supports GitOps principles for desired state management. With scalable deployment and operations capabilities, it will also help customers automate security updates across edge infrastructure and will be ideal for edges lacking a stable inbound network connection.
VMware Edge Compute Stack’s support for new and existing applications enables customers to consolidate hardware and modernize applications at their own pace. The low-latency architecture helps operate high-speed robotics as well as share GPU resources across applications. This reduces infrastructure and management overhead enabling customers to scale their edge operations for innovations today and in the future. VMware provides the reliability and resilience customers require to repeatably run the most stringent Operational Technology (OT) applications.
Introducing VMware Retail Edge: Platform for Store Innovation and Optimization
The new VMware Retail Edge Solution brings the agility, ease of management, and better security of VMware Edge Compute Stack to retail store environments. A single software-defined platform to deliver critical business outcomes, VMware Retail Edge enables customers to build, run, manage, connect, and protect their business services across all their retail stores, simply and more cost-effectively. With VMware Retail Edge, customers can reduce in-store infrastructure costs and management, remotely deploy and maintain applications on demand, and accelerate the deployment of next-generation AI apps. VMware Retail Edge makes adopting solutions from partners faster and more cost effective by consolidating these apps onto a single scalable store innovation platform. By combining VMware Retail Edge with solutions from partners such as Chooch.ai and Stratodesk, retailers can better support customer engagement, loss prevention, and point-of-sale transformation.
Announcing the Initial Availability of VMware Private Mobile Network
Today, VMware also announced that the VMware Private Mobile Network, a managed connectivity service to accelerate edge digital transformation, will become initially available in the current quarter (FY24 Q3). VMware partners with wireless service providers to help remove the complexity associated with private mobile networks and enable enterprises to focus on their strategic business outcomes. Built on VMware Edge Compute Stack, VMware Private Mobile Network offers service providers trusted VMware technology, seamlessly integrated into existing IT management platforms. This enables rapid deployment and effortless management and orchestration. VMware is also pleased to announce that it is working with Betacom, Boingo Wireless, and Federated Wireless as the initial beta wireless service provider partners for this new offering.
VMware offers enterprises the right edge solution to address diverse use cases at the right price. It is collaborating with customers to successfully address the following edge use cases:
Manufacturing – Support for autonomous vehicles, digital twin, inventory management, safety, and security;
Retail – Support for loss prevention, inventory management, safety, security, and computer vision;
Energy – Enable increased production visibility and efficiency, reduced unplanned downtime, maintain regulatory compliance; and,
Healthcare – Support for IoT wearables, smart utilities, and surgical robotics.
“Boingo is collaborating with VMware to enhance our managed private 5G networks that connect mobile and IoT devices at airports, stadiums and large venues. VMware’s Private Mobile Network simplifies network integration and management, helping us accelerate deployments.” – Dr. Derek Peterson, chief technology officer, Boingo.
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